Communication

BEP 92: Handling Difficult Requests

04 Jul 2018

podcommunication

Introduction

In a perfect world, we’d never have to talk about problems or need to face difficult situations. But as we all know, discussing problems and finding solutions to problems are both necessary to maintain good business relationships. We shouldn’t avoid these situations but look at them as an opportunity to improve business communication with colleagues and customers.

We cannot always say “yes” to a difficult request from a client or a colleague. Sometimes, it may not be possible to grant a request. At other times, a compromise may be reached. In such situations, the language and tone you use are important. You don’t want to offend or upset the person making the request.

In this podcast lesson, we’ll use a telephone dialogue to illustrate how to deal with difficult requests without causing offence.

Situation

Wynn Newberry works for a Marketwatch Magazine, a fashion and style magazine that is holding a public event the launch of a new bar. He wants to print 10,000 publicity flyers to hand out at an upcoming event and as time is limited, he needs the flyers quickly. He calls Sara, his printer.

 

BEP 90: Showing Empathy in Work Situations

14 May 2018

podcommunication

Introduction

Empathy is the ability to understand how someone else feels by imagining yourself in their position.

The ability to show empathy is a very important social skill in making and maintaining friendships. In business, too, it’s important to be able to show empathy with customers, clients and even co-workers, particularly when dealing with disputes, complaints and other negative situations.

You're much more likely to be able to resolve a problem with someone if you show them that you understand their position or how they feel.

Some people are naturally empathetic; others have to actively work on developing the skill. There are a number of useful techniques for showing empathy which we’ll look at in this podcast lesson.

Situation 1

In the following situation, Mary discusses a problem with her colleague, John.

 

BEP 91: Expressing Opinions and Agreement

02 May 2018

podcommunication

Introduction

We are often askedto give our opinion on various things at work. We also often ask for the opinion of colleagues and superiors.

Asking for and giving opinions is an important part of English, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the language you will need to do this. You’ll also need to know how to respond when someone gives you their opinion. You can either agree or disagree, and within this you can choose to agree or disagree strongly or mildly. Subtle changes to the language you use will allow you to find the right level of agreement or disagreement.

In this podcast lesson, we’ll show you how to express an opinion and show agreement and disagreement through three short dialogues.

Situations

You’re now going to listen to three short dialogues. In each dialogue, you’ll hear people expressing their opinions and being asked about their opinions.

 

BEP 87: Criticizing Someone in the Right Way

04 Apr 2018

podcommunication

Introduction

We all make mistakes and learning how to correct them is an important part of doing business. But what about when other people make mistakes?

It’s a good idea to learn how to criticize in a professional manner without causing offence, especially if you're talking to an employee. There are ways of telling someone they didn’t do their work as completely, correctly or accurately as they might have.

In this podcast lesson we’ll focus on some techniques you can use to criticise in a way that won’t cause offence. We’ll also introduce you to some useful phrases to help you achieve this.

Situation

You’re now going to listen to a short dialogue. You’ll hear Mr Brown talking to Sandra, one of his employees, about some work she has done recently.

 

BEP 78: Introducing Yourself at Work

15 Feb 2018

podcommunication

Introduction

Introducing yourself to a stranger for the first time can be difficult for some people. For outgoing people, starting a conversation with someone they have never met is usually easy. On the other hand, most people find it hard.

When you introduce yourself to someone at work for the first time, you have an advantage. You both work for the same company. You have something in common: something to talk about! And you’ve probably already seen each other around the place before.

There are a number of ways of making a self introduction. It usually needs to be on a case by case basis; however, here’s some basic advice to get someone’s attention and finally make an acquaintance.

• The direct approach works for most people who have the confidence to do so. Simply go up to the person whom you want to introduce yourself to. Say “hello,” offer a handshake and tell them your name. If, however, it is a group you are approaching, politely ask if you can join them.

• Giving a compliment is also a good tactic. Remember to give a compliment that you really mean. Sincerity is the key here. You can start the conversation with a statement like, “I like your shirt” or “You have a nice watch”. The other party can reply with a, “Thank you”. From that point, be prepared to talk about the object you are complimenting on to prove that you really admire it. After a minute or two, or when appropriate, start introducing yourself.

• Make a comment to someone about the situation you’re in or the environment. Once they’ve responded, introduce yourself.

• If the person you want to introduce yourself to is speaking to someone you already know, then take it as a chance to get acquainted. Walk towards them and say hello to your friend or the person you knew. An introduction can then follow naturally.

• If you want to introduce yourself to a person you only know by name, you can start a conversation by confirming their name - “Mr Reynolds?” Once you get their attention, continue by stating how you know about them and then introduce yourself.

With the right introduction, a good attitude, and confidence, you can find yourself creating a good impression and friendly relationships.

Situation 1

Peter Harvey and Sarah Rogers, who both work for the same multinational company in London, meet for the first time in the staff restaurant. Let’s hear how Peter first makes contact and then introduces himself to Sarah.

 

BEP 36: Talking about your Company and Work

04 Oct 2017

Meeting new people is an important part of working in a business environment. The contacts we make on an everyday basis help us to expand our knowledge about our business and create a network of people who we can turn to for help or advice with our work-related concerns.

You are now going to listen to a dialogue between two people from different companies who meet for the first time at a business conference. Note how they talk about their companies and the roles they play at their places of work. Sally is a senior manager with an e-publishing company and Josh is a project manager with a similar company. Josh has just given a presentation on the latest venture that his company is going to be involved in. Sally approaches him during a coffee break.

 
Menu